Getting well again after relapse

Forgive me. It has been a while since my last confession…

A couple of months ago I had a really bad relapse with my OCD. I think the reason for this was a combination of stopping taking the low dose of my anti-OCD medication (10 mg fluoxetine per day) in a period of extra work-related stress. I stopped taking the medication because I actually felt pretty good and thought that such a low dose couldn’t really do anythinig so I might just as well stop completely. My relapse began about two months after I stopped taking fluoxetine which seems to fit very well with the general picture in the literature.

After some days of deep depression and being totally caught up in OCD I began to do something to get well again. Now I am feeling a lot better. Here is what I am doing now:
– I take 80 mg fluoxetine per day divided in two daily doses (2 * 40 mg)
– I take 2400 mg NAC (N-acetylcysteine) divided in two daily doses (2 * 600 mg)
– I take 100 mg zinc per day divided in two daily doses
– I take three tablets of valerina officinalis before going to bed (3 * 120 mg extract)
(Randomized placebo controlled intervention studies support the use of both NAC, zinc and valerina for OCD)
– I take ginseng and temple tree to counteract the sexual side effects of fluoxetine (it seems to work, especially ginseng is supported by good science)
– I have found a psychologist specialised in cognitive behaviour therapy for OCD (extremely helpful!). In the beginning I was in therapy once a week. Now it is once every two weeks.
– I use my mindfulness techniques (as describes in previous posts)
– Yesterday I began to do more concentration meditation (meditation on the breath) and will continue to do so in the coming period (after suggestion from both my therapist and my meditation teacher)

I feel relatively good now and definitely hopeful.

Thank you for your e-mails and comments and appeals for me beginning to blog again. I’m back. It goes up and down, but I’m back.

I hope you are all OK.

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7 Responses to Getting well again after relapse

  1. Welcome back! Good for you for realizing what you needed and taking care of yourself. you are an inspiration for all those with OCD.

  2. Rose says:

    I figured that was the case – that you were going through a bad period. How wonderful that you are back in a good place. I was in a minor fall off the cliff myself (got me to googling and how I found your blog) and ‘am crawling out day by day. You know – two inches up – slide back down one inch. I don’t take any meds (other than for my ulcers) to help me. I guess I’m just in a battle to the death with this thing.
    Thanks for coming back with your blog (!!!) and please keep it up when you are feeling well – like now.

  3. AShley Smith says:

    Keep it up and everything will always be okay.

  4. J.J says:

    Good to hear you’re feeling better. I strongly recommend you looking into memantine. Just like NAC, it is a NMDA-Antagonist; but it’s far more effective for OCD with fewer sides. Good luck!

  5. David says:

    Good to hear you are better. I found through trial and error that NAC and inositol work for me. I also realized after a relapse I can never stop taking meds again. Take care.

  6. LC says:

    Hi There,

    Thank you very much for this great blog.

    I’ve just had a major OCD incident after a big change to my life and after 2 months of therapy and Xanax for sleep, I was not much better and was losing a grip on my life. I went to the doctor and he started me on 10mg of Citalopram which in the first week has already toned down my anxiety by at least 20%. Apparently this is fast as most people apparently feel nothing for two weeks plus. Within 2 days I started to feel hope and less despair. I’m to move up to 20mg in another weeks time.

    1. You say you take your SSRI 2 times a day. Why do you do that instead of once a day? My
    Doctor is suggesting once a day. What times do you take it?
    2. I’ve suffered from insomnia for years (Prob due to underlying depression and obsessions/anxiety that I was not aware of). I’m still on Xanax for sleep and desperately want to get off it. How do you ensure sleep? Or will this just come with time in the SSRIs?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking you all of these questions. I’d rather ask someone that’s been through it than a doctor who hasn’t experienced it themselves.


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